Maracas Bay, Trinidad, West Indies

IMG_4476Probably the most famous outing from Port of Spain is the beach at Maracas Bay. It’s about 35 minutes outside of the city along a windy hilly road.

IMG_4468The view from the viewpoint is not the only reason to stop. There are chow stalls where you can try the famous “pineapple chow.” Chow is a dish of fruit in a brine with shadon beni (culantro) and chili peppers. They also make chow with green plums, mango, and cucumber. The pineapple is the best with its contrast of juicy sweetness, salty brine, and slight spice. All the basic electrolytes in one bite!

IMG_4460Maracas Bay is a popular beach for the locals and it’s a good place to hang out. There are lifeguards on duty, a good thing considering how fierce the waves the day we went.

IMG_4484For a foodie, the reason to go to Maracas Bay is to eat “bake and shark” or a fried fish sandwich. This sandwich was made more famous by Anthony Bourdain. The most famous place is Richard’s with the many condiments including pineapple chow. Uncle Sam’s is on the beach side and overlooks the beach. You buy the fish sandwich and then put on the condiments of your choice from garlic sauce, tamarind sauce, pepper sauce (pureed scotch bonnet peppers), slaw, pineapple chow, mayonnaise, etc. The sandwich reminds me a bit of po’ boy sandwiches.

IMG_4482

De Bess Ah Trini Speak, right Gee?

d5at5vc4VhV2C5nHKqUOXbbrEa9bzt2tDlI4kruynGQ3w1DJkiEbEWhCXTySmohpY5mll_p452RlsxkHhOHmkOoIGsNGoKTIhFMC2-bhCG190niLON8XpIY58bzAoNkOP3t0l6IeO1DJmb-lGWXd8OL_PXCjUd2NyWXdGEgAObAAGApv8tGPuNFC7-This post is not about the best of Trini speak. I haven’t heard enough yet to know what the best phrases might be. What I do know is that I don’t understand the English here in Port of Spain. I’d say that my comprehension is on par with my Spanish comprehension… well, they might be neck in neck. (I almost felt relief when talking to a guy in Spanish! If three sentences counts as talking.)

O7tnlozpiesZQVkRsgbN-YAZCiOfUGKqPG1JrEGLDP7wo2e1O0NIJB4KKmDMprkNsfBe4Y5Sw2PbeFNd88z4poVZequPmHYlQQzDN7XNJ5ZHTCvheigC1fP9hl9cgsUiJKnq2HMwsgLKfzXmvoYJEtfzSYoDGcbEWJrFgT98LSn8wFP9rYXN-kwEOiThe Trinis tell me that it’s because they speak fast. No, they don’t. They use different vocabulary, different grammar, different spelling, and they have a different cadence. In other words, a different language. They remove “then” and other prepositions (is that what they are called?). Or how about “the best food in tongue” which must mean “best tasting” or not?

UTtPySP7d8oXMjrGTNIwtw3GqjuVg4T1Yi3Vk_sdcVlqM07fg6lhuihChp8DzJfNVasHaottV5tj35NPcK1xEveB1pxMHcCbPW2pqM_K1LFf91wyGrqkS8UUwXUEsksFLryVHPTqPik4Gu2jJo4tZw-Pv0n4kkD8fTya5cm5jZmuRU8oEGL16KmHWCOther than terminology like “lime” and “whine” there are many other words in daily life that are used which I can’t recall right now. I wish I could. One phrase that I wrote down was, “A good bit of us” for “there are a lot of us.” Sounds like British but without the accent.

The food vocabulary is easy to learn (bodi is long green beans) as that’s a matter of memorization, and many of the words have an origin that is typical of Trinidad’s cultural influences. Bodi probably originates from the Hindi word and was likely introduced by the South Asians.

atdjzIOw3_8VhLbOHW663vXaoc0FLR15Nmfdy7KGhxt36Uvtr_e4mVN-MYHz6QT8YXKVqHsXyDrCoujwOfxDfAaEzuTuH_wR_SKNlOQe72QdC8rAzEwoVjZ2PjKvqGZCvQ0XZJF1seKPTrmnkcMWgY2fZf7VXS1019ctBSs3HvZdyJgNSGyjfRp1gyAnd then there’s the spelling. See that “best” is now a woman’s name, “bess.” And “ah” for “of” as can be seen in the soup sign.

Linguists could have a field day.

Ya dam right gee. For de bess ah tongue.

Or something like that. I have no idea! Habla espanol?